Nine tips before you head to Las Vegas for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight


Make no mistake, May 1-3 will wind up being one of the busiest and craziest times on the Las Vegas Strip, thanks to the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.

Hotel booking website’s expert Renee Libutti shares tips on where to watch the fight in Vegas, what to expect in terms of traffic and security and the best Las Vegas fight weekend parties.

1. How can I watch the fight if I don’t have tickets?
MGM Resorts International has exclusive closed-circuit telecast rights to the fight, which means you’ll only be able to see it at one of its properties. Unfortunately, like the fight tickets, these viewing events have already sold out. By exercising their rights, broadcasts will be blacked out at other hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, in downtown and throughout Clark County.

2. What about pay-per-view access?
The fight is being broadcast as part of a joint venture between Showtime Sports and HBO Sports and distributed on pay-per-view. The record-breaking cost has been set at $89.95 for standard definition and $99.95 for high definition. Pay-per-view broadcasts are available to residential cable network subscribers. You won’t be able to order and view the fight from your hotel room.

3. Should I head over to the MGM Grand anyway?
If you don’t have a ticket to the main event or a closed-circuit telecast, don’t go to MGM Grand. You won’t be able to view the fight there. Period.

4. Where would you go for the best parties before and after the fight?

Many of the pool clubs and nightclubs in Vegas are not only featuring their best pound-for-pound lineups on fight night, but also on the days leading to and after the clash. Rehabat the Hard Rock Hotel has scored big in the celebrity ring. On May 2, none other than pop star Justin Bieber will host the raucous afternoon pool party. He’ll be followed by Atlanta-bred music and film star Ludacris on May 3.

5. Where should I go to buy fight swag?

If you’re interested in getting official fight gear, stop by the MayPac pop-up store that is open now through Saturday, May 2, downtown on Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street. Not only can you get logo T-shirts, baseball caps and event gloves, but you can also try out a cool fight simulation experience.

6. I have tickets to “KÁ.” Can I still see the show on Saturday night?

MGM Grand has cancelled all regular shows at the property (like Cirque du Soleil’s “KÁ”) for the night to reduce congestion and to use theaters for closed-circuit viewing parties.

7. I scored tickets to the fight. What should my game plan be?
If you do have a ticket to the fight, you’ll want to head over to MGM Grand at least two hours in advance because there will be significant congestion in and around the arena. This means long waits even if you’re valet parking or are traveling by taxi.  Valet is going to fill up fast and may close. Self-parking at MGM Grand is not recommended. Instead, use the Monorail. Whatever transport method you choose, avoid waiting until the last minute. If you try to get to MGM Grand 30 to 40 minutes before the fight starts, you won’t make it.

8. What can I bring into the MGM Grand Garden Arena?
You’ll have to go through security checks when you arrive at MGM Grand. Items that are not allowed include backpacks, large purses or bags, professional-grade cameras, audio recording devices, video recording devices, iPads, GoPros, tablets and selfie sticks.

9. What will it be like when the fight is over?

MGM Grand and LVMPD have been working with the Regional Transportation Commission and Taxicab Authority so that additional buses and taxis will be available to prevent an overflow of people waiting to leave the arena.